User Interface Design · User Experience Design

UI/Ux Designers - Where to find a truly inspired one in NY/NJ?

Paul Ruderman

December 9th, 2013

Hi All,

I have been searching high and low for one truly inspired UI/Ux Designer to join us full-time at, my startup. I could easily hire a brilliant one who works REMOTELY, but I'm still holding out the prospect of finding a designer local to our office in Montclair, NJ in the NY/NJ area, so that we can brainstorm/iterate in person as needed.

I have gone through Behance, Dribbble, Dice, LinkedIn, now, and of course I continue to extend my personal network. But I am really having a tough time filling this last key seat in my core team here - me and 2 brilliant developers.

I do not want to hire an agency, and I do not want a part-time consultant/contractor. I really need the UI Designer to join us full-time for at least 2-3 months, and preferably well beyond that.

I am reaching out here on FD now because I am looking for other ideas on WHERE to find this inspired UI/Ux Designer who wants to join a promising startup and amazing early team.

Any guidance is appreciated.

C Anderson VP of Product at

December 9th, 2013

As a designer, I think you're going to have a very hard time finding someone who is interested in full time and also talented. You're drilling in the right places but the wells are dry. Right now every designer in my network is either working at a top tech company or has a lucrative consulting career. 

Talent is in extreme scarcity, lots of people have personal projects, and that means they aren't going to jump at the chance to work on something full time. Even if you have healthy funding. Exceptions made for instances where the founding team all love working together and are getting healthy equity. 

A compromise is going to have to be made. Remote is one option, but I wouldn't recommend it unless it's with someone that is particularly good at working remotely. I do it a lot, but it does take practice to learn how to communicate effectively & maintain momentum. Part time consulting is definitely an option. Though the time per hour can me more costly, it can also be more efficient. The last option would be finding someone that you can teach. Assuming you know what you want and have good taste, you could find a less experienced designer with a lot of talent and invest in their learning process. If you don't want to do that yourself, you could also hire an experienced consultant that would complete the initial design tasks to set a tone and then stay with you to train the fulltime designer. 

Good luck with the search!

Viktor Dmytrenko Digital Marketing Manager at Ubertesters

July 14th, 2017

Check those guys

Joshua Butner Founder / Partner at Vulk

December 9th, 2013

Honestly, as a designer, I've found that avenues like Dribbble, Designer News or Behance are second only to word-of-mouth / network referrals. The reason there is little to no substitute for referrals is that someone is personally putting (at least a bit of) their reputation on the line on behalf of this third party, and as such you tend to get better, previously vetted candidates.

I hope this helps! Best of luck in your search!

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

December 9th, 2013

I think FD could be balanced to more designers. NY should be probably #2 market for that skillset. I think the problem is more over-demand. I would try taking advantage of agency brain drain and seeing who you can direct recruit. Target agencies with the right kind of work. Message prospects on the opportunity for ownership and creative control (it's exhausting working on client assignments and then watching the client make all the real money). Good luck

Sharon Schanzer Client service consultant, graphic designer, WordPress developer

December 9th, 2013

Hi Paul: Have you tried a temp agency? There are many, locally in NYC and NJ, that specialize in designers and they won't cost you much more (if any more) that hiring direct. Then you can also pay through the agency which comes with some plusses. MANY seasoned designers get all of their work through agencies. I can send you names if you'd like. S. +++ Sharon Schanzer Founder & Creative Director : RLDGROUP : where technology, creativity & strategy meet Founder : Helix : Coworking and connecting on the Upper West Side 646.595.0033 office 917.677.5827 mobile/sms


December 9th, 2013

This post has some good ideas:

Also Angellist is another great resource for recruiting, esp for startups. Reaching out to local accredited art schools and their career development dept can be an good avenue as well. They usually have job boards and what not, or direct relationships with alumni and current students.

Jeffrey Cary Senior Project Manager at netPolarity, Inc.

December 10th, 2013

Paul, I have had a lot of success finding resources on That may be a good resource to identify candidates that meet your requirements. Hope that helps. Jeff


December 15th, 2013

As a designer,  I rarely try to find designers on Dribble, Behance, LinkedIn, and especially not oDesk, fiverr, or a different resource where designers are undercut for their work. AngelList is not bad, and I agree that there is a huge market shortage in general anyway.

I would go to design-centered meetups, there are a lot in NYC. Often, just meeting more designers will give you access to others. There are also a lot of new talent at open shows in SVA, where they combine interaction design with entrepreneurial skills. Their master grads are some of the better ones I've seen.

I'm also wondering what kind of designer you're looking for, because that might be a big key in finding a match. Convincing designers to join you take more than just matching skill sets. Convincing 


December 15th, 2013

Ok that submitted prematurely. To continue, you also have to talk it out if your company matches a designer's passions. This is a key driver in what motivates a designer, probably more than cash or equity promises.

Good luck on your search!